And here we are at the final chapter! Thanks to everyone who has read and followed this fic :) Friday, I will be posting a fluffy one shot for everyone!

Now enjoy the TLC Jack deserves here:

Chapter Six

Once they got back to the Impala, Dean dug through their bags in the trunk and pulled out a pair of sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt for Jack. Sam and Cas helped him into that while Dean located a blanket and grabbed a bottle of water and the first aid kit.

Jack huddled on the back seat, legs curled up in the fetal position. He looked pretty bad, gaunt and half-starved. Cas had given him what little of his grace had been in that vial, but it hadn't seemed to do much if anything for Jack's condition. Dean bit his lip, almost sorry Lucifer had taken out the whole compound. He would have liked to take a few shots himself. Sure, at first he too might have been wary of Jack, but after getting to know the kid, the idea that anyone could do this to him seriously pissed him off. And then Lucifer had gone and stolen half his grace to power himself up too. And he thought he was worthy of being Jack's father.

No, Dean had seen the way Jack had latched onto Cas when the angel had rescued him, had stood against the devil to protect him, and even now Jack wouldn't let Cas go. Cas seemed unwilling even now to leave the boy's side, allowing Jack to prop his head against his lap in the backseat. If anyone had the right to be the kid's dad, then it was Cas.

"Hey," Dean said, handing the first aid kit to Sam. "He need this?"

"I'll heal his injuries," Cas assured them. "Those are superficial. It's the fact that half his grace has been torn out that's hurting him."

Dean swallowed hard.

"Will he…recover?" Sam asked cautiously, taking the blanket from Dean and tucking it firmly around Jack's shuddering frame.

"Eventually," Cas told them bitterly. "But he's in shock right now."

"Well, let's keep him warm and try to get him hydrated," Dean told Cas, handing him the bottle. "Doesn't look like they fed him."

"I don't think they saw the need," Cas spat. Jack whimpered and the angel hushed him, gently stroking a hand through his hair before he cracked open the bottle and pressed it to Jack's lips, trying to get him to drink.

Dean shook his head angrily. "Then let's get him home. It's only a few hours' drive."

Sam and Dean retreated to the front seat and Dean gunned the Impala off the compound and back onto the highway.

At least they had the kid back now, but who knew what kind of lasting damage he might have suffered?


Arthur Ketch dragged his very compliant captive through the halls of the old asylum. The guards standing at the door of the throne room looked shocked and instantly moved aside to let him pass. Ketch smiled to himself and strode inside, pulling his captive along with him.

"Mr. Ketch, a pleasure to see you again," said the figure wearing the white suit, sitting on the throne.

"My lord, as you see, I come bearing gifts," Ketch unceremoniously dropped Lucifer to the ground. The fallen archangel grunted, unable to get further than his hands and knees with the manacles Ketch had secured him with.

Asmodeus was already getting off the throne. "My my, what do we have here? Is that Lucifer himself?"

The archangel actually looked frightened which only made Ketch happier. The Prince of Hell turned to him. "You did well this time, Mr. Ketch. Perhaps next you'll be able to find the nephillim."

"I will make it my first priority, my lord," Ketch told him smoothly, and bowed before he left Lucifer to the mercy of the Prince of Hell.


Castiel watched Jack anxiously all the way back to the bunker. Though he mostly slept it was obviously not a restful sleep. Castiel pressed a palm to his forehead to see if he could determine the cause of his distress, and found that his skin was warm to the touch. He had been so cold when Castiel found him, but now he seemed to be running a fever instead. Castiel worriedly monitored his rising temperature, and slowly healed the rest of his physical injuries since his own grace didn't seem to be responding. It was still there, Castiel had checked, but it seemed to have retreated deep inside Jack as if to preserve itself. He tried to ease the fever, however, he seemed unable to.

Sam glanced over the seat worriedly. "How's he doing?" he asked.

"I think he's running a fever," Castiel told him. "I don't know if it's purely from the shock or if one of his wounds got infected. Either way, he needs a bed."

"We only got another thirty minutes left," Dean told him, even then pressing his foot into the gas more firmly.

Jack hadn't changed by the time they got back to the bunker and Sam and Dean hurried to get his room ready and grab what they might need as Castiel carried him inside, still wrapped in the blanket. He settled Jack down gently into his bed, and the boy looked so small and lost. Especially with his gaunt cheekbones that were accentuated by two splotches of fever and dark circles under his eyes.

Sam brought in a bowl and some wet towels and folded one to place over Jack's forehead. He stirred a little at this but settled soon after, seeming too exhausted to do anything.

Dean was giving Jack a cursory examination before tucking him into the bed more securely. "He's really dehydrated. We need to get some fluids into him."

Sam glanced over his shoulder. "I think we have some saline and an IV drip in the infirmary. That's really our only option with him being unconscious."

"I got it," Dean said and left the room. Castiel was using one of the other rags to cool Jack's face and neck. Sam pulled a chair over from the desk for him to sit in.

"He'll be okay," Sam assured him. "He just needs some rest. He's been through a lot."

Castiel was silent for a long moment, watching Jack's eyes flicker behind his eyelids as if he were having nightmares. "It's my fault this happened. I should have insisted he take more time to learn about his powers before he went hunting. I should have been the teacher I was supposed to be."

"Cas, this is on both of us," Sam assured him with a sigh, sitting down on the side of the bed. "We both failed him. But we can do better this time around."

"If he ever wants to use his powers or leave the bunker again," Castiel muttered. He remembered how he felt after being hit with that attack dog spell. The thought of hurting people, of being unable to control himself had terrified him so much that he hadn't been able to leave the bunker for several weeks. He certainly didn't want Jack to feel like that, but he wouldn't exactly blame him if he did.

Dean came back in then with the IV supplies, and Sam helped him set it up. Dean pulled one of Jack's arms from under the blanket and inserted the needle into the crook of his elbow. Jack whimpered and shifted slightly, but Castiel took his other hand and held it tight, reaching out with his grace to calm Jack down. Once the drip was in place, Castiel turned to the Winchesters.

"There's nothing more we can do for him until he wakes up. You might as well rest."

Sam pressed his lips together but didn't argue. "We'll spell each other. Let us know if you need anything, okay?"

Castiel nodded, turning back to Jack. Dean clapped a companionable hand onto his shoulder on his way out the door, and Castiel was suddenly glad he hadn't had to do this alone. Jack may not be well, but they had gotten him back, and they would nurse him back to health too.

And no matter what happened next, they at least had each other.


Jack was in darkness. He tried to fight his way upright, but he couldn't even tell which way was up, and his arms and legs wouldn't move. He couldn't move at all.

He could hear people talking, feel hands on him, and wished they would stop touching him because his whole body ached. He felt cold, but he also felt like he was burning up inside.

"Stop, please stop," he pleaded, attempting to struggle again.

"Shh," someone hushed him and he felt something at his throat. Jack was finally able to pry his eyes open and he balked as he saw Lucifer standing over him with a slow smile. Blood dripped from him, as his eyes glowed red, and as his lips spread in the garish smile, he revealed teeth that came to a point like a vampire's. He held an angel blade pressed to Jack's throat.

"My son," Lucifer said right before he slashed the blade across Jack's throat.

Jack gurgled, his grace pouring out of the wound as Lucifer bent to dig his teeth into Jack's throat.

Jack screamed, feeling his powers, his essence, being pulled from his body, but there was nothing he could do. He couldn't even fight back.

Tears slid down his face. He had never felt so alone.


Jack gasped and flailed, eyes flying open. Hands were on his shoulders, pushing him back and that made him struggle more, crying out and kicking weakly at his assailant.

"Stop, let me go!" he pleaded.

"Jack, Jack, it's Sam, you're safe, just calm down. It was a dream."

Jack shuddered, eyes wide as he glanced around at his surroundings. His room in the bunker. The warm light and sparse furniture, the familiar smell of old books and underground with a hint of coffee and whisky. And then finally Sam leaning over him with concern in his eyes, his large hands pressed gently into his shoulders.

"Sam," Jack breathed and instantly wrapped his arms around the man's neck, burying his face in his shoulder, trembling with relief.

Sam's arms went around him, one hand moving up and down his back soothingly before he pushed Jack away a little.

"Easy, it's okay," Sam told him with a small smile.

Jack sniffed, reaching up to rub the sudden wetness from his eyes and felt a pinch in his arm. He looked down and felt his stomach hit his feet as he saw a needle forced into his skin with a tube attached to it. He instantly reached to rip it out, but Sam stopped him.

"Jack, hey, hey, it's okay, just leave it," Sam told him, pulling his hand away gently but firmly.

"B-but…" Jack stuttered, terror crashing over him at the memory of what those scientists had done to him.

"It's just to keep you hydrated," Sam assured him. "It's only saline solution. It seems like they didn't bother giving you much to eat or drink while you were there."

Jack wrapped his arms over his stomach as he huddled against the pillows. "No. They didn't give me anything to eat at all."

Sam's expression turned pained and he reached out to squeeze Jack's forearm gently. "Well, we'll get you fed soon. How about I get you something to drink? And Cas and Dean will want to know you're awake."

Jack nodded. Castiel—he wanted to see him badly. He remembered the angel protecting him from Lucifer. Just like he had protected him before he was born. He felt a sudden relief just knowing that Castiel was okay, that Lucifer hadn't killed him again.

"I'll be right back," Sam promised and left the room.

Jack waited, and it wasn't long before footsteps hurried down the hallway and the door Sam had left cracked swung open, revealing the dark-haired figure in the trench coat.

"Jack," Castiel said, relief obvious in his voice as he rushed over to the bed.

"Castiel," Jack said, his voice breaking into a sob halfway through as he collapsed against the angel, his guardian, and felt instant relief as Castiel's arms wrapped around him. He could feel the angel's grace reaching out to stroke his own. Jack's grace felt weak, wounded, like it had been ripped apart and shoved back into him. He shuddered as he remembered the agonizing sensation of that machine that took it from him, and then his dream when Lucifer had drunk it from his own neck like a vampire.

"How do you feel?" Castiel asked, one hand finding Jack's forehead. "You've been fevered for two days, it only broke early this morning."

"I feel…wrung out," Jack said hesitantly, not really sure how he felt. It was both a physical sensation and something that ran much deeper.

Castiel inhaled deeply. "It will take a while for your grace to fully regenerate. The trauma you suffered sent your body and grace both into shock."

"It hurt," Jack whispered, curling into himself again at the memory of the pain.

"I know," Castiel said softly, before he gently pushed Jack back, propping him against the headboard and brushing his hair back from his face. "Jack, I'm sorry for what your father did to you…"

"He's not my father," Jack cut in, shaking his head. "Family doesn't do that to each other."

"No, they don't," Castiel said firmly.

Sam and Dean came into the room then, Dean carrying a tray with a steaming bowl on it.

"Hey, kid, glad to see you up," Dean said as he approached the bed and set the tray down on the side table. "I made you some soup; thought it will be easy on your stomach since you haven't eaten for a while."

Jack's stomach gurgled, somewhere between nausea and hunger. Sam handed him a bottle of colored drink after twisting the cap off.

"Gatorade will help with the dehydration," Sam told him.

Jack took a cautious sip, and wrinkled his nose. It tasted both fruity and salty, and kind of disgusting, but Jack drank it anyway because his mouth had been so dry and when the wetness touched his tongue his thirst had reawakened with a vengeance.

"Whoa, go easy, kid," Dean told him, gently taking the bottle away. "Don't drink it all at once, it'll make you sick. You can have some more in a minute. Why don't you try some of the soup?"

Castiel settled the tray into Jack's lap and Jack took a careful spoonful of the soup, blowing on it cautiously. It wasn't hot enough to burn, just warm enough to feel pleasant on his throat. He took several more bites, feeling it warm him from the inside out.

"This is good," he said sincerely. "Thank you."

Sam smiled. "It's tomato rice soup. Our mom used to make it for Dean when he was sick and Dean made it for me."

The mention of their mother caused Jack to put his spoon down, swallowing hard. Castiel watched him cautiously.

"What's wrong, Jack?" he asked.

Jack turned his eyes up to Sam and Dean. "I tried to find out how to open the rift to get your mom back," he said. "I didn't…I thought if I could come back with her, I could prove that I could use my powers for good."

"Oh, Jack," Castiel sighed, setting a hand on his knee.

Sam came around the bed and sat on the other side. "Jack, we'll find our mom together. You don't have to do it alone. Maybe you can't even do it now. That might have been a one-time thing. Either way, this isn't something any of us should do alone."

"And I know your powers can be used for more than just violence, Jack," Dean said firmly, surprising the nephillim.

"You do?" he asked cautiously.

"Sure," Dean shrugged. "Look, I'm sure you could have busted out of there, killed all those SOBs if you had really put your mind to it, but you didn't."

"But they forced me to kill," Jack said. "Vampires and werewolves…"

"And did those vamps and things attack you first?" Dean asked.

Jack bit him lip but nodded. "Yes, but…"

"But nothing," Dean shook his head. "There's no shame in defending yourself or the people you care about. Sam, Cas and I, we have to kill monsters all the time to protect people. It's not a glamorous job, and sometimes it's damn hard, but we do it because we have to, because no one else is gonna do it. Besides," he added, glancing toward Sam with a look that Jack was sure had deeper meaning. "I should know that just because someone is powerful, and potentially dangerous, doesn't mean they're gonna turn out bad."

Sam met his brother's eyes with a small smile of gratitude before he turned back to Jack. "You're not Lucifer, Jack. Trust me. I know Lucifer, and I don't see any of him in you."

"He's right, Jack," Castiel added. "I do see a lot of your mother though, and she was a good, strong, and kind woman."

"She believed in you, kid," Dean told him. "She believed that your powers could be used for good."

"You just have to learn how to use them, like any weapon," Sam told him with a smile.

Jack looked at the three men surrounding him, and for the first time since he had run away, he felt at peace, even with himself. Sam was right, if he learned how to better use his powers, then he wouldn't have cause to fear them anymore. He had to remind himself that he was in control.

Most importantly, he had a family that cared for him, and he realized now he had been a fool ever to leave them.

"Thank you," he said finally, his voice tight from the lump that had formed unbidden in his throat. "Thank you for coming for me."

"We'll always come for you, Jack," Castiel said sincerely, clasping his hand firmly in his as Sam and Dean nodded in agreement.

Jack smiled then as warmth finally began to swell in him. Something stopped hurting in his chest for the first time in weeks, and he was finally sure that this is exactly where he belonged.